Report: Hornets would’ve traded for Marc Gasol before deadline, but he wouldn’t commit beyond last season

Dan Feldman
NBC Sports

The Hornets coming close but ultimately not trading for Marc Gasol before last trade deadline reportedly soured Kemba Walker on Charlotte. Walker then left Charlotte in free agency this summer. That was at least partially about money, but it’s never only one thing. If the Hornets had done more to build a better team around him, maybe he would’ve accepted less.

Why didn’t Charlotte get Gasol, who had a $25,595,700 player option for next season?

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Roderick Boone of The Athletic:

I do know they were going to pull the trigger on that trade until it fell through because Gasol wouldn’t commit to Charlotte beyond the 2018-19 season.

This worked out great for Gasol. The Grizzlies traded him to the Raptors, and he won a title. He also opted in with Toronto.

I don’t get the logic for the Hornets. They were unwilling to pay Walker without a massive salary commitment to a 34-year-old Gasol. With Gasol, it would have been even far difficult to pay Walker a reasonable amount while avoiding the luxury tax, something Michael Jordan has never paid.

Perhaps, Charlotte wanted to make the trade contingent on Gasol pledging to opt out and re-sign for a lower 2019-20 salary on a multi-year deal. That could’ve pushed the Hornets into the 2019 playoffs, impressed Walker and kept a helpful contributor like Gasol in Charlotte.

But I’m unsurprised he said no. He got a ring and a huge payday for next season.

Charlotte needs better plans than this.

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